“Great moments don’t just happen; preparation makes them possible.”
Our culture celebrates success, excessively. From highlight reels to election results to victory parades, we love seeing the big wins played out on screen or stage. So it is with churches. We create entire lists of the fastest-growing and largest churches in North America, which in and of itself is just fine; the problem occurs when we begin to look at their size or growth rate as the point, rather than an outcome.
I’m all for celebrating what God’s doing in these churches. I actually have friends on staff at quite a few of them, and I celebrate with them. My caution is that when we focus on the rate of growth as a snapshot in church history, we’re only seeing a momentin time; an outcome of many, many years of hard work, faithfulness and lots and lots of prayer. What we’re not seeing is actually the more important part of the story, and one that churches need to consider and research before making decisions to model ministries after the Instagram snapshot of the cover for a special edition magazine about these churches.
Duplicating good ideas is only a good idea when the idea matches your vision. Any other time, they’re either sideways energy towards good, but not great, or end up being a complete distraction for the unique vision of your own church, in your own community.
QUESTION: What has been your experience in applying ideas from other churches into your unique context?